nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2006‒02‒26
three papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. The Making of an Investment Banker: Macroeconomic Shocks, Career Choice, and Lifetime Income By Paul Oyer
  2. Mother's Education and Child Health: Is There a Nurturing Effect? By Yuyu Chen; Hongbin Li
  3. New Evidence on Race Discrimination under "Separate but Equal" By Bradley A. Hansen; Mary Eschelbach Hansen

  1. By: Paul Oyer
    Abstract: New graduates of elite MBA programs flock to Wall Street during bull markets and start their careers elsewhere when the stock market is weak. Given the transferability of MBA skills, it seems likely that any effect of stock returns on MBA placement would be short-lived. In this paper, I use a survey of Stanford MBAs from the classes of 1960 through 1997 to analyze the relationship between the state of the stock market at graduation, initial job placement, and long-term labor market outcomes. Using stock market conditions at graduation as an instrument for first job, I show that there is a strong causal effect of initial placement in investment banking on the likelihood of working on Wall Street anywhere from three to twenty years later. I then measure the investment banking compensation premium relative to other jobs and estimate the additional income generated by an MBA cohort where a higher fraction starts in higher-paid jobs relative to a cohort that starts in lower-paid areas. The results lead to several conclusions. First, random factors play a large role in determining the industries and incomes of members of this high-skill group. Second, there is a deep pool of potential investment bankers in any given Stanford MBA class. During the time these people are in school, factors beyond their control sort them into or out of banking upon graduation. Finally, industry-specific or task-specific human capital appears to be important for young investment bankers.
    JEL: M5 J31 J44
    Date: 2006–02
  2. By: Yuyu Chen; Hongbin Li
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the effect of maternal education on the health of young children by using a large sample of adopted children from China. As adopted children are genetically unrelated to the nurturing parents, the educational effect on them is most likely to be the nurturing effect. We find that the mother's education is an important determinant of the health of adopted children even after we control for income, the number of siblings, health environments, and other socioeconomic variables. Moreover, the effect of the mother's education on the adoptee sample is similar to that on the own birth sample, which suggests that the main effect of the mother's education on child health is in post-natal nurturing. Our work provides new evidence to the general literature that examines the determinants of health and that examines the intergenerational immobility of socioeconomic status.
    JEL: I12 I21 O15
    Date: 2006–02
  3. By: Bradley A. Hansen; Mary Eschelbach Hansen (Department of Economics, American University)
    Abstract: Recently uncovered 1906 Virginia teacher-salary data allow for more precise and consistent estimation of marginal returns to certification and formal education than available in previous studies. Virginia’s “separate but equal” educational system paid black teachers in rural counties lower wages than it paid white teachers and on average paid a lower premium to blacks for certification and formal education that it paid to whites. In incorporated cities, returns to certification and normal school education were about the same for black teachers and white teachers, although average salaries were lower for black teachers.
    Keywords: race discrimination, teacher salaries
    JEL: N3 J7
    Date: 2005–09

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